Every year, March is celebrated as Women’s Month, and March 8 is celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day (IWD). This is a time when the achievement of women in different fields are highlighted, while the issues, concerns, and challenges that they still face are also discussed. Over the past year, several Filipinas continued to break glass ceilings and make history for the Philippines, bringing pride to the country while also empowering and inspiring generations of girls.
Here are five women who made history and served as inspirations in the last year:
1. Filipinas women’s football team
On July 20, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will kick off in New Zealand and Australia, as the best football teams in the world battle for the ultimate prize in the sport. And one of these teams is the Filipinas, the Philippine national women’s football team, which qualified for the World Cup last year in dramatic fashion. After defeating Chinese Taipei in a heart-pounding penalty shootout to reach the AFC Women’s Asian Cup semifinals, the Filipinas booked their ticket to the World Cup, marking the first time that a national football team qualified for the tournament. Later in the year, they claimed a bronze in the Southeast Asian Games and then bagged the country’s first AFF Women’s Championship to establish the Philippines as a rising power in the region and a team to watch out for in the World Cup.
2. Bianca Bustamante
Another Filipina who made waves in the world of sports in the last year is racing driver Bianca Bustamante. At just 18 years old, Bustamante already competed in her first W Series Championship last year, and is already a part of the W Series Academy program, which will support her development in the sport. As she continues to get better and develop the skills that she needs, Bustamante is in prime position to continue blazing a trail and serving as an inspiration to all the girls who also aspire to become racing drivers.
3. Alex Eala
Alex Eala is another Filipina who is making a name for herself and bringing pride to the country at a young age. The 17-year-old tennis player wrote her name in the record books last year after claiming two junior grand slam doubles titles, the 2021 Australian and 2022 French Open, then added a grand slam juniors singles title after winning the 2022 US Open. In her memorable victory speech, which she delivered in Filipino, she said that, “Buong puso ko itong pinaglaban, hindi lang para sa sarili ko kung hindi para sa kinabukasan ng Pilipinas.”
4. Dolly De Leon
The Philippines has no shortage of talented actresses who have gained international recognition, from Nora Aunor to Jaclyn Jose, and Dolly De Leon is the latest addition to that illustrious list. De Leon had a memorable supporting role as Abigail in Ruben Östlund’s film Triangle of Sadness, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. She has already won acclaim for her role in the film, and made history by becoming the first Filipina to be nominated for a Golden Globe after she was considered for the Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture award. De Leon’s role in Triangle of Sadness is sure to produce more roles for the talented actress, and more history to be made.
5. Belle Mariano
Another Filipina actress making waves is Belle Mariano, who also made history as the first Filipina to win the award for Outstanding Asian Star at the 2022 Seoul International Drama Awards. The 20-year-old Mariano claimed the award at the KBS Hall in Seoul, South Korea back in September, and received the honor for her work in the TV series He’s Into Her, where she stars with on-screen partner Donny Pangilinan. At such a young age, the actress has already proven her capabilities, and more opportunities – and awards – are soon to follow.
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